Gospel Music Hall of Fame members and award-winning family group The Hoppers have just finished recording an all-new CD and DVD paying tribute to some of gospel music's most legendary pioneers. The new album, The Hoppers: Honor the First Families of Gospel Music is slated for release on April 6 and is produced by gospel music icon Bill Gaither and award-winning producer Michael Sykes.
Among the classics featured on the album are hit songs by The Chuck Wagon Gang, Gaithers, Goodman Family, Rambos and the Speer Family. Remembering the influence those artists have had on The Hoppers, and explaining how the new album came about, group matriarch Connie Hopper reflects:
"This was Bill Gaither's idea and it was a good one! The Chuck Wagon Gang was the first gospel music I heard on the radio growing up. Later, after we began traveling and singing, I had the opportunity to meet Rose, Anna, and Roy Carter. It is our privilege to honor The Chuck Wagon Gang on one of their great classics 'Lord, Lead Me On.'"
Indeed, The Hoppers' sound was inspired by many of those pioneering gospel music families. In one instance, Connie recalls being in concert with the Rambos in South Carolina: "I was in my seat listening intently when Buck stepped to the mic to tell the crowd that Dottie had just written a new song-'He Looked Beyond My Fault.' It was indeed a special moment."
Remembering his youth, Dean Hopper adds, "I was fortunate at a young age to be traveling with my family during the years these honored family groups were in their prime. You might say I had a front-row seat to greatness."
"I spent time on their buses, and some even visited our home to sit down for my mom's home cooking," Dean continues. "We had many conversations before the concerts, and then I watched the crowd respond as these honored families brought life to these great songs. These are treasured memories."
The Hoppers: Honor the First Families of Gospel Music CD and DVD are available for pre-order now at retail and digital outlets worldwide. Bringing The Hoppers' to the small screen, the 90-minute DVD features a behind-the-scenes interview with the group, hosted by Gaither.
The Hoppers: Honor the First Families of Gospel Music Song Listing (CD and DVD):
1. Be an Overcomer
2. Lord, Lead Me On
3. God Walks the Dark Hills
4. I'm Longing for Jesus to Come Back
5. One More River
6. He Is Mine and I Am His
7. I Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey
8. I'd Rather Have Jesus
9. He Looked Beyond My Fault
10. Some Glad Day
11. Gentle Shepherd